Andre Russell equalled the record for the fastest fifty in South Africa’s domestic Twenty20 history as the Knights beat the Dolphins with a bonus point at the Diamond Oval to sew up a playoff spot in the Ram Slam T20 standings. The Sunfoil Dolphins had needed to beat the Knights to keep third place within reach for the bottom three sides, but with the Knights winning by 39 runs the identity of the top three has now been confirmed. All that is left is for the final placing to be decided during the last two game days.
Russell took just 19 balls to reach his half-century – the same number required by Martin Van Jaarsveld back in the 2006/07 season and by Albie Morkel in 2010/11. Incredibly, the West Indian’s six boundaries were all maximums, as he backed up Reeza Hendricks’ superb knock at the top of the order, which saw him lay the platform with 69 from 50 balls. Russell was run out attempting to steal a bye off the final ball of the innings to leave the Chevrolet Knights on 167/5, and then took a wicket and a catch as the Dolphins fell to 6/2 in reply.
The visitors never recovered from there, with Morne Van Wyk (39) and Bravo (35) the only batsmen to get going as Russell and Shadley Van Schalkwyk each took three wickets. Russell finished with 3/17 from 3.3 overs while Van Schalkwyk took 3/228 as the Dolphins were bowled out for 128 with nine deliveries left unused. While the victory gave the Knights a 10-point gap over the Dolphins, they still trail the second-placed bizhub Highveld Lions by four points and the Cobras by seven going into the final two match days.